My Barbarian, The Golden Age, 2007, two-channel video
Paula McLain's The Paris Wife was well-received, garnering somewhere between 7 and 7.5. The book was interesting, a fast and engaging read, and took the reader on a vintage adventure that roamed from the cafes of Paris, to the bullfighting ring of Pamplona, to private beaches in the South of France, to chalets in the snowy Austrian ranges. It was with a mixture of envy, amazement, and disgust that most of us for the first time really learned something about Hemingway the man, who, well, seems to be about the same as Hemingway the myth. No wonder that guys--BC's Tenth Member included--seem to have placed Hemingway on a pedestal: ultra-masculine, athletic, charming, a literary genius, devilishly handsome, the talk of Paris, cavorting through Europe with the rich and famous. Was this dude for real? Unfortunately, in life as in mythology, someone who lives in such an outsized fashion is bound to be met by a tragic ending (and along the way, a wrecked home life, a gigantic ego, alcoholism and depression). And what about the wife, number one of four--how could she ever stand up (whether in the book or in reality) to a character of Hemingway's magnitude? Apparently she didn't, or at least not on their summer vacation where Pauline came along as if they were all one big happy family. More like Barfalona than Cap d'Antibes if you ask El Jefe. Overall, the book provided a fascinating window into a time and place that were unique in history: heady, jazzy, exuberant and gluttonous, and we missed it by a good 50 years. El Jefe also loved the chance to reminisce about her fave spots in the City of Lights . . .
Cafe Bonaparte, Rue Bonaparte, 6e arrondissement
Bar Hemingway, Ritz Hotel, Place Vendome, 1er arrondissement
Centre Pompidou, 4e arrondissement
Jamin Puech, Rue Madame, 6e arrondissement
Our next meeting is Wednesday, July 6. As everyone surely remembers (right?!) we are reading Phillip Roth's Pulitzer Prize winner, American Pastoral, postponed from last month. We also picked an August book: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, by Annie Jacobson. Meeting location and volunteers to be sent separately. Until next time, you truly do need to read early and often. American Pastoral is like 31 Flavors' French Vanilla: "Costs a bit more, but worth it!"
Baskin-Robbins announced on July 15, 2010, that to make room for some new combinations, five flavors would have to go. The oldest was French Vanilla: launched in 1945, it was one of the first flavors offered by Irv Robbins and Burt Baskin.